Overview



SFB Seminar Series 2018
ZEW-SFB Public Finance Conference

4th FHM Development Economics Workshop
Workshop on Probability-Based an Nonprobability Survey Research
Passive Data to supplement survey DataSFB Seminar Series: Learning from partitioned data
Workshop on Crisis Corporatism or Corporatism in Crisis? Social Concertation and Social Pacts in Europe
SFB Seminar Series: High-quality research designs using Monte Carlo techniques

SFB Seminar Series: Learning from partitioned data
SFB Seminar Sereis: Sequential Majoritarian Blotto Games
SFB Seminar Series: The Political Economy of Medicaid: Ideology, Eligibility, and the Consequences of Cost-Saving
SFB Seminar Series: Audits for Accountability: Evidence from Municipal By-Elections in South Africa


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SFB Seminar Series 2018

Details about the seminars can be found in our archive here.

Overview of Seminars in 2018

February 5: Marko Klasnja, Georgetown University
February 16: Florian Foos, King's College London
February 19: Zoe Kühn, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
February 22: Nona Bledow, University of Konstanz
February 27: Peter Lugtig, Utrecht University
March 5: Carlo M. Horz, IAST - The Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse
March 19: Marta Curto-Graum, Universitat de Barcelona
April 12: Wouter Verbeke, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
April 23: Michelle Taylor-Robinson, Texas AM University
May 12: Livia Isabella Schubiger, London School of Economics and Political Science
May 28: Nina Wiesehomeier, School of International Relations in Madrid
August 20: Stephan Schlosser, Universität Göttingen
September 10: Michael Zilis, University of Kentucky
September 24: Seungmin Kuk - Washington University in St. Louis
Oktober 8: Macartan Humphreys - Columbia University New York
Oktober 15: Lianne Ippel - Maastricht University
November 5: Claire S.H. Lim - Queen Mary University of London
November 26:
Dr. Joachim Wehner - LSE (London School of Economics)



4th FHM Development Economics Workshop




ZEW-SFB Public Finance Conference

The theme of the 2018 conference was fiscal policy coordination in Europe. The keynote lectures of Agnès Bénassy-Quéré (Paris School of Economics) and Martin Hellwig (MPI Bonn) were centered on this topic. However, the conference included many contributions of other fields of public economics and political economy.

The Conference takes place at ZEW in Mannheim, Germany, on 23-24 April, 2018. Click here to have a look at the conference schedule and here to read the report.



Workshop on Probability-Based and Nonprobability Survey Research

This  workshop  brought together  experts  on  probability-based  and  nonprobability  survey  research  to discuss the latest developments and foster international collaborations.
We are happy to announce that the workshop will include a keynote speech by Jon Krosnick
(Stanford University). Furthermore, we are working with the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology on a call for papers to a special issue on the workshop topic. Accepted contributed papers will be presented at the workshop at the University of Mannheim on June 25-26, 2018.

Presentations should  address  methodological  issues related to  probability-based and  nonprobability  survey  data.
For more Information please have a look here.


Passive Data to Supplement Survey Data


28. August 2018, 13:00 Uhr

GESIS, Mannheim, B2,8 (rechts)

Stephanie Eckman


Abstract

As survey costs increase and response rates decrease, researchers are looking to alternative methods to collect data from study subjects. Passive data are data collected from subjects without posing questions and recording responses. Examples are passive data are: location data collected from smartphones; applications installed on smartphones; activity data from fitness devices such as fitbits. Because they are collected without subject involvement, passive data may offer a way to reduce the burden born by our research subjects while also allowing us to  collect high quality data needed for social science research. However, preliminary research into how to collect and analyze passive data is needed. In this talk, I present three research studies which use passive data to improve the quality and/or reduce the burden of survey data. The talk will focus on what we have learned and what research remains to be done.


About the Speaker

Dr. Stephanie Eckman holds a PhD from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology. She has worked from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany and at the Sociology Department at the University of Mannheim. She is currently a Fellow at RTI International in Washington DC. Her research interests include motivated misreporting, sampling methods in low resource settings, and the use of passive data.

By the way:
GESIS'  lecture series are open to the public and interested parties and comprise of a thirty-minute talk by the guest followed by discussion and questions. Also People from outside Mannheim are invited to watch the talk via Adobe Connect.

For more information please click here.


Workshop on Crisis Corporatism or Corporatism in Crisis? Social Concertation and Social Pacts in Europe

4-6 September 2018

Universität Mannheim, A 5,6; Raum A231 / B316,

Abstract

Research question/goal:

Labour relations in Germany and several other European countries have been marked by longstanding social partnership. This, however, has been challenged in recent decades with uncertain consequences for political economies and organized interests. Accordingly, this project seeks to disentangle analytical and political debates about the viability of organized capitalism. First, the project explores the question if, and if so how and why, the recent economic crisis has altered Germany’s labour relations and the social partners’ relations with the government. Second, it analyses the cross-national variation in the involvement of the social partners in governmental crisis politics in Europe, and it also investigates the subsequent effects on policy contents and organized interests for selected countries. Both project parts rely on an innovative mix of research methods and generate valuable empirical findings that will contribute to evaluating debates on institutional and organizational change of labour relations and welfare states.

By the way:

In October 2017, the project team and international collaborators met for a first workshop in Mannheim, discussing the theoretical framework for defining and operationalizing social pacts and social concertation. The project is currently at the stage of data collection and preliminary analyses for the systematic cross-national comparison as well as preparing the in-depth case studies of the selected countries.

Detailed Workshop Schedule


SFB Seminar Series: High-quality research designs using Monte Carlo techniques


08. October  2018, 14:00 - 15:00

SFB 884
University of Mannheim B6, 30-32
Room 310
68131 Mannheim

Macartan Humphreys - Columbia University New York


Abstract

Researchers need to select high-quality research designs and communicate those designs clearly to readers. Both tasks are difficult. We provide a framework for formally "declaring'' the analytically relevant features of a research design in a demonstrably complete manner, with applications to qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research. The approach to design declaration we describe requires defining a model of the world (M), an inquiry (I), a data strategy (D), and an answer strategy (A). Declaration of these features in code provides sufficient information for researchers and readers to use Monte Carlo techniques to diagnose properties such as power, bias, correct identification of causal conditions, and other "diagnosands.'" Ex ante declarations can be used to improve designs and facilitate preregistration, analysis, and reconciliation of intended and actual analyses. Ex post declarations are useful for describing, sharing, reanalyzing, and critiquing existing designs. We provide open-source software, DeclareDesign https://declaredesign.org to implement the proposed approach.


About the Speaker

Macartan Humphreys (Ph.D., Harvard, 2003) works on the political economy of development and formal political theory. Ongoing research focuses on political inequality, post-conflict development, identity politics, and democratic development with a current focus on the use of field experiments to study democratic decision-making in post-conflict and developing areas. He has conducted field research in Chad, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Uganda, and elsewhere. Recent work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, World Politics, the Economic Journal, and elsewhere. He has authored or coauthored books on ethnic politics, natural resource management, and game theory and politics. A former Trudeau fellow and scholar of the Harvard Academy, he is a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and Director of research on Institutions and Political Inequality at the WZB in Berlin.


SFB Seminar Series: Learning from partitioned data

15. October 2018, 14:00 - 15:00

SFB 884
University of Mannheim B6, 30-32
Room 310
68131 Mannheim


Lianne Ippel - Maastricht University


Abstract

Over the last decade, social research workflow has greatly changed. While previously data were often collected using paper-and-pencil questionnaires, nowadays data are often collected using webpages and smartphone applications. This change in gathering data has had many consequences, though in this talk I focus in particular on the partitioning of data. I will discuss two types of partitioned data. Horizontally partitioned data implies that the same variables are available for each respondent, however, not all respondents are available in one central place (e.g., like streaming data). On the other hand, vertically partitioned data means that the same respondents are available at different sites, or institutes. However, each site can have its own set of features, which might or might not be sharable with other sites, e.g., due to the sensitive nature of the features. For these non-sharable features, privacy-preserving data mining/machine learning techniques are required. While discussing this, your input at this part of the talk will be much appreciated!


About the Speaker

Lianne Ippel is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Data Science at Maastricht University. She received her PhD degree from Tilburg University for her thesis “Multilevel Modeling for Data Streams with Dependent Observations”, for which she won ‘Best Thesis Award’ at the General Online Research conference in Cologne (2018). Her research interests are centered around ethical and responsible use of Machine Learning and  Machine learning models in relation to methodological issues such as response style, measurement invariance, and missing data.


SFB Seminar Series: Sequential Majoritarian Blotto Games

22. October 2018 14:00 - 15:00

SFB 884
University of Mannheim B6, 30-32
Room 310
68131 Mannheim

Kai Konrad - Max-Planck-Institut München

Abstract

We study Colonel Blotto games with sequential battles and a majoritarian objective. For a large class of contest success functions, the equilibrium is unique and characterized by an even split: Each battle that is reached before one of the players wins a majority of battles is allocated the same amount of resources from the player’soverall budget. As a consequence, a player’s chance of winning any particular battle is independent of the battlefield and of the number of victories and losses the player accumulated in prior battles. This result is in stark contrast to equilibrium behavior in sequential contests that do not involve either fixed budgets or a majoritarian objective. We also consider the equilibrium choice of an overall budget. For many contest success functions, if the sequence of battles is long enough the payoff structure in this extended games resembles an all-pay auction without noise.Keywords: Blotto games; dynamic battles; multi-battle contest; all-pay auctions; sequential elections.JEL codes: D72; D74.


About the Speaker:

Prof. Dr. Kai A. Konrad Director at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance is heading the Department of Public Economics. His main scientific interest is to pursue basic research in economics on the origin, the functioning and the financing of the state and other polities or private groups.



SFB Seminar Series: The Political Economy of Medicaid: Ideology, Eligibility, and the Consequences of Cost-Saving Measures


05. November 2018 14:00 - 15:00

SFB 884
University of Mannheim B6, 30-32
Room 310
68131 Mannheim


Claire S.H. Lim - Queen Mary University of London

Abstract

We explore the linkages between government ideology in U.S. states and geographic variation in Medicaid program design and operations. Medicaid eligibility criteria tend to be more generous in liberal states. Simultaneously, fee-for-service reimbursement rates for physician services have been notably lower in liberal states. These two patterns lead to the following question: to what extent does the partisan composition of the government drive eligibility and reimbursement over time? If cost-saving measures accompany eligibility expansion, then whatare their consequences for resource allocation? We explore long-run linkages among partisan composition of the government, eligibility, cost-saving measures, and expenditures for theMedicaid expansion from the mid-1990s to 2010.Our analysis consists of four steps. First, we analyze how much the partisan composition of the state government drives eligibility expansion. Second, we explore the tradeoff between breadth of eligibility and fee-for-service reimbursement rates. Third, we investigate driving forces behind the evolution of the delivery systems, i.e., Medicaid managed care diffusion.Fourth, we analyze the resulting patterns of per-enrollee spending.We find that the partisan composition of the state house played a critical role in the relatively later stage of eligibility expansion and the reduction of fee-for-service reimbursement rates over time. While the HMO penetration in the private insurance market drove the Medicaid managed care diffusion, the diffusion also tends to go hand in hand with the reduction of fee-for-service reimbursement rates. Finally, Medicaid per-enrollee spending increased substantially over time despite the adoption of cost-saving measures. This unintended consequence was due to the systematic changes in HMO practices that coincided with the eligibility expansion.

About the Speaker

Claire's primary interest lies in empirical research in political economy. Her research investigates how characteristics of political environments and the design of government institutions interact with the behavior of public officials, the conduct of regulated industries, and social welfare. She has conducted such investigations in three contexts: the behavior of judges in U.S. state courts, regulation of the U.S. energy industry, and government subsidies and pricing in the U.S. health care system. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She was on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Department of Economics at Cornell University. She was also a CSDP fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution.



Audits for Accountability: Evidence from Municipal By-Elections in South Africa

26 November 2018 14:00 - 15:00 UIhr

University of Mannheim, B6, 30-32
Room 310

Dr. Joachim Wehner - LSE (London School of Economics)



Abstract:
Theories of retrospective accountability assume that voters punish poor governance and reward improvements, yet empirical evidence remains mixed. We extend this research to a new context, assessing the impact of audit information on electoral performance in South African municipalities. Our novel identification strategy focuses on by-elections triggered by deaths in office of local councilors and compares those taking place before and after audit results are announced each year. We find that timely audit information affects the vote share of the responsible party, with voters rewarding improvements and punishing poor performance by about 5 percentage points. This broadens the scope conditions of prior work by documenting accountability effects in a party-centered setting. We argue that to reconcile seemingly disparate results in this area requires recognizing the importance of information disseminated at full scale – which activates regular transmission channels, increases salience, and ensures common knowledge – and from a credible source.